Special Correspondent

MADURAI: Electronic voting machines (EVM) used in the country are vulnerable to fraud, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said here on Monday.

He told reporters that scientists and researchers from several countries had adequate evidence to prove this.

Professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan and his computer science students had claimed that they were able to hack into the EVMs for manipulating the results. The professor, who led a seven-month research project with a security researcher from the Netherlands and Hyderabad's NetIndia, had said that a homemade device allowed them to change the results on an EVM by sending it wireless messages from a mobile phone.

Security problems

Almost every component of this system could be attacked to manipulate election results, Prof. Halderman had said. “This proves, once again, that the paperless class of voting systems has intrinsic security problems. It is hard to envision systems like this being used responsibly in elections.”

Dr. Swamy said that another attack used a pocket-sized microprocessor to change the votes stored in the EVMs between the election and public counting session which, in India, could be weeks later. The country used roughly 1.4 million EVMs in 829,000 polling stations in a general election and they were of the direct recording electronic (DRE) variety. The researchers had offered to share their findings with the Election Commission of India.

Action demanded

Dr. Swamy wanted the State government to take stringent action against those outfits which spoke in support of the banned LTTE and its leader Prabakaran.

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